News / Middle East

Regional Volatility Complicates Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Regional Volatility Complicates Israeli-Palestinian Conflicti
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 10, 2014 1:04 AM
Israeli warplanes are continuing to pound targets in Gaza, as Hamas militants fire rockets deep into Israeli territory. The violence was sparked by the abduction and murder of three Israelis in Gaza last month, and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA that the volatile situation across the Middle East region is serving to further complicate the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Henry Ridgwell

Israeli warplanes are continuing to pound targets in Gaza, as Hamas militants fire rockets deep into Israeli territory. The violence was sparked by the abduction and murder of three Israelis in Gaza last month, and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager. The volatile situation across the Middle East region is serving to further complicate the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel has named this "Operation Protective Edge."  Israeli warplanes are targeting dozens of buildings and sites in Gaza which they claim are used by Hamas militants to plan and launch rocket attacks across the border.  Those rockets are reaching deeper into Israel - as far as 100 kilometers from the Gaza border.

One attack forced an Israeli wedding party to run for cover.  Israel says it may respond to the rocket attacks with a ground invasion. Mark Regev is spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Our goal, our overriding goal is to safeguard the people of Israel and to end the launching of rockets from Gaza on our citizens," said Regev.

The escalating violence is a sign of political weakness on both sides, says Professor of International Relations at Regents University London, Yossi Mekelberg.

“Netanyahu is under pressure from the more right-wing in his government, the Bennetts and Liebermans of his coalition. Hamas is weak because they were forced to leave Damascus, and because of the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt," said Mekelberg.

The Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo was forced from power last year by the military. Its replacement under Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has attempted to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians - and could yet play a key role, says Middle East analyst Sharif Nashashibi.

“This, particularly now, would suit Sissi because as a new president his credentials are rather shaky with Western leaders. So I think this would be an opportunity for him to come out firstly looking strong and with authority to his own people, but showing the West that he is a pivotal player in the region," said Nashashibi.

Hamas will be looking for regional support, but in neighboring Syria the balance of power has swung against the Palestinian faction, says Nashashibi.

“Hamas came out in support of the revolution against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, so they had to leave Syria. That cost them Iranian support, which was substantial at the time. And the recent deal within the Gulf Cooperation Council members regarding the dispute with Qatar has been sorted out, and there is speculation that that may mean a softening of Qatari support for Hamas," he said.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused the international community of staying silent amid Israeli aggression.

“Knowing and seeing the indications of what the Israeli government is doing, and the lack of genuine international response to this, puts us in a situation to expect the worst," said Erekat.

But the West is reluctant to get deeply involved, says Yossi Mekelberg.

“As long as the level of casualties remains low, I think both the Europeans and the Americans will allow the Israelis to keep their military campaign to weaken Hamas, especially the military wing. Then they might want something in return politically, diplomatically," he said.

Hamas has said it will halt its rocket attacks if Israel ends the airstrikes on Gaza. So far neither side appears willing to make the first move.

 

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
July 10, 2014 7:40 AM
Interesting perspective, unfortunately at least two of the basic premises of your arguments are factually wrong-"The violence was sparked by the abduction and murder of three Israelis in Gaza last month"

1. no Israeli kids were abducted in Gaza, period; 2. the violence started by Hamas firing salvos of rockets against Israel about 1 month before the PA/Isr negotiations came to an end. For 4+ months Israel allowed the projectile firing to increase in intensity and increase in the area covered, all it did was continuously warn Hamas that it would take action; the other fact you also got wrong, was that 4 young Israeli kids were murdered, 3 males, and one Female; the first murder was the very extremely violent murder of Shelly Dadon.

Sorry about the bad news on your article, but basing conclusions on erroneous facts will not make the analysis correct. Israel restrained itself for well over four months, not so the Hamas terrorists. Very very sad! facts need to be checked......

by: D from: Goleta
July 10, 2014 12:08 AM
In reference to the article's last sentence, Israel did honor a 24 hour ceasefire to accommodate, but the rockets kept flying from Gaza.

by: E Loderhy from: Cleveland
July 09, 2014 10:36 PM
Oh its regional volatility is it? What a useful concept. I wish I was a smart as you. Keeping us informed, thanks so much.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More